The USA and the European Union (EU) managed to sidestep the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) panel arbitration by striking a deal. This deal is supposedly for compensation to the EU over the USA banning online gambling (UIGEA). Just what this deal entails however, has created quite a bit of confusion. It seems no one can clearly outline the specifics of the deal and how the EU will benefit from it.
Originally the EU argued for compensation from the US of $100 billion. This is the sum they claimed European gambling sites were losing due to the US blocking them from the American market. The new deal, as sketchy as it is, looks to fall way short of the billions the EU was pushing for.
Last week, the White House agreed to a plan with Japan and Canada. The plan sees the US continuing to keep non-US gambling firms from doing business in the states. In return for them agreeing to the plan, Japan and Canada will receive certain concessions from Washington. This has interested parties asking, just what are these concessions?
The US has stated that in the deal, “they agree to maintain existing allowances for companies from the EU, Canada and Japan who want to do business in America.”
The EU released a statement, “That the deal would see it receive new trade concessions in mail services and warehousing, along with market opportunities for European companies offering testing and analysis services.”
Spokesperson for the United States Trade Representative, Gretchen Hamel, commented on the agreement, “The agreement involves commitments to maintain our liberalized markets.”
The EU further stated that in the deal, “Washington had also agreed to ease access to European providers of research and development in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.”
The remaining countries that have claims against the US over the UIGEA, now have only 45 days to request WTO arbitration. Regarding future arbitration Hamel said, “We will continue to discuss this matter with the other claimants to explain how our proposal is consistent with our WTO obligations.”